Passing your driving test and getting your driver’s license is the goal of many people, but just how good of a driver are you? Remaining safe on the road does a lot for you that you may not have thought about. There’s more to staying safe than following the rules of the road. It’s about learning advanced skills that a driving instructor can teach you. That’s where Trubicars comes in.
Making right and left turns and lane changes are good to help you reach your destination, but learning how to cope with the traffic around you is what can really help you get where you want to go safely. In many ways, the other traffic can affect how you feel while driving.
What the risks are
Although you may think it’s only the other drivers who pose a risk, they aren’t. The possible risks you would face include vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists, and wild animals in rural areas. These are the individuals you share the road with, so it would make sense to learn how to cope if they put your safety at risk.
For example, when you spot a pedestrian approaching the corner ahead of you as you intend to turn right, they may begin to walk off the sidewalk as you approach the intersection. Slowing down a little earlier in case you need to stop for them would help them cross the road and also assist any driver behind you in making a smooth stop. Braking late and harshly as they step off the curb may surprise the driver behind you as they may not stop before reaching you.
Learn to anticipate
Thinking ahead helps to anticipate what may happen around you as you drive. Focusing on your driving environment involves many things, including moving your eyes well ahead, from side to side, building to building, in your mirrors, and in your blind spots. You want to look for other road users that may affect your progress.
Waiting until the problem is directly in front of you may cause you to perform a sudden action that can put you at risk of being involved in a collision. If you believe something may happen directly in front of you, respond soon in case it does happen.
A smooth lane change performed early can create space between your vehicle and the risk. If the problem did not happen as you anticipated, it’s still okay that you did a lane change. You kept you in a safe space, and nothing was lost. If you need to change lanes back, do that when you can.
Learning to cope with the risks
When heading out in the vehicle, make a mental plan of the route you will be taking. If you choose a slower route to travel away from the most common route, it can be better because it may have less traffic you will need to encounter. With less traffic, you may find less aggressive drivers trying to get ahead, mainly because it would be easy for them to do that. However, less traffic does not mean zero risks.
Positioning your vehicle is part of coping with the risks on the road. Attempt to drive in a staggered position. This allows you to travel beside space instead of traveling directly beside another vehicle. Creating that space can become tough to do in heavier traffic, but always attempting to find that space helps improve your driving.
Having space directly beside you gives you an escape in case you need it. If the driver next to you suddenly drifts or swerves into your lane, you have room for them to do that. They won’t drift into your vehicle because you created space. If you need to move to the next lane, there’s room for you to do that as well.
Judging other vehicles
One of the tips that can help drivers respond early to other vehicles is knowing the direction and movement of other vehicles well before they complete that move. Getting a few additional seconds to respond to someone turning toward your path, moving into your lane, or moving in front of you can make a big difference between avoiding a potential collision or being involved in one.
If you think about what drivers may do that can deceive other drivers. They have their signal on for a turn but keep driving straight and do not turn. They may also signal a lane change but remain in their lane. They may signal in one direction but move their vehicle in the opposite direction. There is a solution for safely coping with those deceiving drivers.
To know if the driver is really turning the corner, glance at the front wheels of the other vehicle to see if they begin to angle toward the direction of the corner. The wheel angle gives you the intended direction the driver wants to go, and the rotation of the wheels will determine when the vehicle goes. If the wheels remain straight and in line with the vehicle, the driver will go straight.
For a lane change, glance toward the wheels of the vehicle and the lane markings. If the wheels drift toward the lane markings, you know the driver may be moving over, even if they do not signal. The moment you see the wheels drift toward the lane markings, adjust your speed to create space between your vehicle and their vehicle. If the driver is very close to your position, you may want to tap the horn to warn them while you adjust speed.
Remember that driving skills are more than how to go around a corner, do a lane change, and park your vehicle. It’s about working with other road users to blend into the driving environment. It’s also about identifying and responding to potential risks before it’s too late.
Learning to drive from a professional instructor can help you improve your driving skills, and Trubicars wants to help you with this journey! Taking lessons from a driving school does more than provide an insurance discount. They advance your driving skills in a big way. Visit Trubicars today and start driving tomorrow!